BELLMEAD, TX — Community members took to Brame Park in Bellmead on Saturday to rally against gun violence.
The "Stop the Violence: Enemies Become Friends" event featured guest speakers, food, music and activities for children.
The rally was designed in hopes of supporting youth and building a better relationship with them in the community.
Event organizer Sherhon Johnson says she was inspired to take action by a wave of gun violence in the community.
"After seeing all the murders and our youth killing each other, it touched me in a whole other way," she said. "It just made me come up with an event to try to put a stop to it."
People from all around the area, as well as from around the state, came to the event. Many of them brought stories of how their lives were affected by gun violence.
“I had a family member that, her life was taken from her from gun violence through domestic violence," attendee Yumeki Harmon said. "She left two small kids behind and we just want to be able to reach out and show them that we’re here.”
Harmon traveled in from Houston with members of her organization, Reviving and Restoring Pearls, which provides resources for women facing domestic violence.
“We can reach someone. And we can show the youth that we care about them. That's why we’re here,” Harmon said of Friday's event.
Michelle Pullen, Ph.D., founder of Who Can You Run To Ministry, was one of the guest speakers at the rally. She led attendees in prayer early in the afternoon.
“I’m here to speak to encourage the youth to set the guns down, hallelujah. Sit them down and pick up life,” Pullen said.
Johnson began planning the event in April, with a specific goal in mind--to save the community from gun violence.
"Nobody else wanted to make that move, so I’m gonna try to make that move and I’m gonna try to make that change,” Johnson said.
After Saturday's rally, she hopes to continue to work towards peace and unity and putting an end to violence in Waco and Bellmead in the future.